Boykins Pumpkin Fest draws more youth in 2022

Published 6:16 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The 2022 Boykins Pumpkin Fest drew around 500 people at its busiest Saturday, Oct. 15, with a clear uptick in youth attendance.

A signature feature of this year’s festival was the ribbon cutting for the Boykins Blessing Bricks Memorial Walkway, which has become a permanent part of the town in Buck Lassiter Mini Park.

The Coard Foundation, and other nonprofits like it, spearheaded the creation of the walkway, which stems from the sidewalk on Virginia Avenue and extends into the mini park, encircling a flagpole. People have been invited to order a brick and dedicate it to the person or group of their choice, and the bricks on the walkway have been engraved to reflect this choice.

The Coard Foundation President Eric Coard said, “All of us at The Coard Foundation are thrilled with the way the Boykins Blessing Bricks Memorial Walkway turned out. We far surpassed our goals in brick sales and raised thousands of dollars for our community and local nonprofit organizations. With the help of all who supported this project, we now have a beautiful memorial walkway to our American flag which will serve the community for decades to come.”

The annual Pumpkin Fest takes place on Virginia Avenue, right in front of the town office, bank and dentist office.

“Overall, we had a lovely festival this year,” Festival Coordinator/Chair Victoria Edwards said. “The weather was beautiful, and we had a nice turnout. Vendor count and attendance seemed a little low compared to last year, but we believe that is due to other events that took place Saturday.”

After estimating the aforementioned attendance number, Edwards said, “We specifically noted more children in attendance this year.”

She pointed out that the main highlight of this year’s festival was the Little Miss and Tiny Miss Pumpkin Fest pageants.

“All contestants were absolutely adorable,” she said. 

The Tarrara Woman’s Club members filled the roles of pageant moderator and judges, Edwards noted.

Emma Edwards was named Little Miss Pumpkin Fest, and Aerabella Dauphin was named Tiny Miss Pumpkin Fest.

“They are invited to ride with Santa in our Christmas parade Dec. 11,” Edwards said.

The festival also included its trademark cake walks, and there was a costume parade. Leading the parade was Woodsy Owl, which Edwards said “brought a lot of smiles and was my personal favorite moment of the day.” 

She stated that the Pumpkin Fest’s 50/50 raffle winner donated his winnings back to the festival to be used next year, “which was the perfect ending for the day in our ‘small town with a big heart.’”

Edwards said the Boykins Parks & Recreation Committee and volunteers, full of creative ideas, were jotting down possibilities for next year’s festival before the day even started Saturday.

“Adding a Senior Miss Pumpkin Fest Pageant contestant group was mentioned, and I think it would be a lovely idea and fun for the entire community,” Edwards said.

She also noted that a large portion of the demographic of Boykins and the surrounding area is retirement age.

“I think our Parks & Rec Committee has not considered this when planning events,” she said. “This will be rectified, and I look forward to the fun ideas our Parks & Rec Committee comes up with.”